HAVE YOU EVER SERVED IN THE MILITARY?

One question can make a big difference…

ASSIST VETERANS IN OBTAINING STABLE HOUSING BY:

  • Identifying families that qualify for veteran-specific housing programs.
  • Addressing service-related barriers to stable housing.
  • Collaborating effectively with military-veteran resources.

WHY ASK THE QUESTION?

Housing services providers encounter veterans, service members, and military family members, but they don’t always know it. Veterans do not always identify themselves. They can be proud and stoic, and tend to be more comfortable helping others than asking for help themselves. At the same time, they may be dealing with homelessness or imminent homelessness, or other housing-related challenges.  The way to ensure military-veteran applicants for housing services get the help they need and deserve is to ASK!

When an individual or family applies for housing services, ASK THE QUESTION:

Have you or a family member ever served in the military?

WHEN THE ANSWER IS “YES”, you may consider thanking them for their service. You may also then be able to help them identify and access veteran-specific housing programs, services, and benefits by asking further questions. This will also help you to:

  • Build rapport and demonstrate interest and cultural competency
  • Link to any needed military and veteran resources and referrals, including both VA and non-VA programs
  • Identify any mental health and/or physical or medical issues impeding housingstability
  • Identify potential sources of income and assess financial stability
  • Identify supports and resources as well as areas in need of further support
  • Address perceived barriers to seeking support and services

Read a vignette about how providers in
Housing & Homelessness Services can make a big difference!

Following are some questions that could be asked in the context of gathering information for more effective referrals and services.  Pay attention to non-verbal cues, and show respect, curiosity, and empathy.  Also be aware that responsiveness and effective follow-up are critical to building trust and rapport.

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When did you/your family member serve? What service era?  Which Branch?

  • Build rapport and demonstrate interest and cultural competency
  • Link to any needed military and veteran resources and referrals, including both VA and non-VA programs

What was your/your family member’s job while serving?

  • Link to any needed military and veteran resources and referrals, including both VA and non-VA programs
  • Identify any mental health and/or physical or medical issues impeding housing stability

In what ways may the services and support that you’re here for today be connected to your/your family member’s military service?

  • Link to any needed military and veteran resources and referrals, including both VA and non-VA programs
  • Identify any mental health and/or physical or medical issues impeding housing stability

Are you experiencing any issues or stressors related to employment or financial needs?

  • Identify potential sources of income and assess financial stability

What is your/your family member’s discharge type/status?

  • Link to any needed military and veteran resources and referrals, including both VA and non-VA programs

Are you/your family member enrolled at or connected to the VA or other veteran resources or organizations for support and services?

  • Link to any needed military and veteran resources and referrals, including both VA and non-VA programs
  • Identify potential sources of income and assess financial stability
  • Identify supports and resources as well as areas in need of further support

What reservations did you/your family member have about coming in to seek assistance?

  • Link to any needed military and veteran resources and referrals, including both VA and non-VA programs
  • Identify any mental health and/or physical or medical issues impeding housing stability
  • Identify potential sources of income and assess financial stability
  • Identify supports and resources as well as areas in need of further support

Is there anything that might be a barrier to further seeking assistance?

  • Identify supports and resources and areas in need of further support

What reservations did you/your family member have about coming in to seek assistance? Is there anything that might be a barrier to further seeking assistance?

  • Identify potential sources of income and assess financial stability
  • Identify supports and resources as well as areas in need of further support